Important Notice to Lakewood Residents from N.J. American Water

Posted on December 2, 2022 By

New Jersey American Water crews have been performing water system improvements on Madison Avenue, Lakewood. The project, which began December 1, 2022, is scheduled to be completed by Friday, December 2, 2022.

When water service is restored, customers may experience discolored water. If the water is discolored, run the cold water taps only, at the lowest level of the house for about 3 to 5 minutes until the water runs clear. You will not receive any further notification unless additional action is required or conditions change.

If you are a landlord and water service is in your name, please inform your tenants so they are aware of this impact to their water service. In keeping with American Water’s focus on safety for both customers and employees, please do not approach our crews while they work.

For more information or to see a map of the affected area please go to Call 1.800.272.1325 for more information.


Potential Disaster with Catastrophic Potential Avoided in Lakewood

Posted on December 1, 2022 By

With the help of many organizations working together, a potential disaster with catastrophic potential was avoided in Lakewood, N.J. On November 25, 2022, at about 3:00 p.m., a motor vehicle accident occurred at the Currey Building, 220 E. Fourth Street, Lakewood, N.J. The accident involved a single motor vehicle and the gas service that serviced the six-story apartment building. The gas service was severely damaged resulting in a massive gas leak, endangering the lives of the residents in the immediate area.

The Lakewood Police Department and the Lakewood Fire Department quickly responded, secured the area, and began evacuating the building. The Fire Department located the service line valve, exposed it, and shut off the gas to the building, which resulted in no heat and hot water in the building. Although the immediate danger had been eliminated, the building was deemed uninhabitable by the inspections department; and, as a result, all residents needed to be relocated.

Those residents who were not able to find accommodations with family or friends, were housed at the Lakewood High School.

The Lakewood Police Department, the Lakewood Fire Department, Ocean County Sherriff’s Department, the Lakewood Board of Education, Lakewood Public Works, Lakewood OEM, Lakewood EMS, Brick EMS, Lakewood Housing Authority’s Executive Director Scott Parsons and Maintenance Department, Lakewood Utility Advisory Commission, Chaverim, LCSW/Shomrim, NJ Natural Gas Company Government Liaison Amy Fitzgerald and their Response Crews, Iron Rock Security, and Allied Boiler, deserve high praise and recognition for the extraordinary efforts in assisting in the elimination of a potential disaster with catastrophic potential.

Lakewood Mayor Ray Coles said, “All agencies conducted themselves in a professional and empathetic manner. Their quick actions prevented an extremely dangerous situation from becoming a disaster. Safe accommodations were provided for the displaced residents, the repair of the gas service allowed the heat and hot water to be restored, and residents were able to return to their homes. Thank you all, for being who you are and doing what you do, you truly make a difference! With appreciation and gratitude, we thank you and wish you all the best!”

Mayor Ray Coles, Lakewood Township
Greg Stafford-Smith, Chairman of the Lakewood Housing Authority Board


Family Planning Center — New Name and New Location

Posted on December 1, 2022 By

The Family Planning Center of Ocean County, formerly at 290 River Avenue, Lakewood, has moved to Bey Lea Commons, 40 Bey Lea Road, Unit B103, Toms River, and has changed its name to LivWell Healthcare. LivWell Healthcare is a non-profit healthcare organization, focusing on sexual and reproductive healthcare, and free education.

Gina Polese-Grosso, MSW, LCSW, president and CEO, said, “We were often confused with Planned Parenthood who do abortions, and the name confused people about what we actually do. Our pledge is still the same — to provide easy access to quality reproductive healthcare services for all. We are seeing more men and adolescents for reproductive healthcare services in addition to giving quality reproductive healthcare to the women. We’ve worked hard to increase visibility and engage the younger generation. Renaming our organization is due to advancements in healthcare, technology, and societal norms.”

Among other services, LivWell Healthcare offers telehealth and such current services as Gardasil to adults for preventing HPV; partnering with the VNA to provide cancer screening for both women and men starting at the age of 21 for uninsured; and PrEP, an HIV prevention option. The LivWell Healthcare facility, eight miles south from its previous Lakewood location, is open Saturdays by appointment.

For more information, visit the website or or call 732-364-9696.


HR’s Role in Career Mapping & Transition: Why YOU Matter – Meeting Dec 8

Posted on November 23, 2022 By

A 2022 Index revealed that 68 percent of workers would stay longer if their employer made an effort to upskill/reskill them. Yet, 49 percent say they don’t know where to begin their development or see a clear path at their firm. On the flip side, companies report top reasons for not investing in talent are lack of time, budget, and a skills gap understanding. That leaves HR professionals in a prime position to connect the dots for both sides of the table!

Join JSAHR (Jersey Shore Association for Human Resources) professionals for a breakfast meeting and presentation, open to the public, presented by Lisa Panarello, founder and CEO of Careers Advance, to gain an overview of the Career Mapping & Transitioning process and the impact it can have on employee satisfaction, productivity, retention, and company growth on December 8 from 8:15 to 10:00 a.m. at Jumping Brook Country Club, 210 Jumping Brook Road, Neptune, NJ.

During this program, attendees will learn best practices for guiding employees in self-discovery, career aspiration mapping, and 30-60-90 day planning in alignment with business goals; for determining different skills assessment/performance evaluation methods; driving communication between employee and supervisor to manage mutual expectations; and for preparing department, division, and the organization for employees’ assimilation to ensure success in a new role.

This meeting is sponsored by the Jersey Shore BlueClaws.

Registration and breakfast for members is $35; non-members $50; those in transition $25; and students with a valid ID $10. To register visit htpps:// or email or call JSAHR at 732-701-7155.

JSAHR is a SHRM (Society for Human Resource Management) affiliated chapter. This program is pending one (1) SHRM and one (1) HRCI (Human Resource Certification Institute) recertification credit.

About the Speaker: Lisa Panarello is the founder and CEO of Careers Advance, a private practice specializing in professional training and development. She aids small to Fortune 500 companies in improving talent recruitment, performance, and retention while coaching individuals to thrive on their career journey. Panarello is certified in DISC and EQ Assessments, holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing, and has more than 12 years of diverse industry experience. She’s currently the president of SMA-NJ, a specialty chapter of SHRM.


New Initiative Provides the Lakewood Community with Reflective Belts to Ensure Visibility of Nighttime Pedestrians

Posted on November 23, 2022 By

The Lakewood office of the Rothenberg Law Firm met with multiple elected, law enforcement, and community safety officials to discuss its new initiative to provide the Lakewood community with reflective belts to ensure that nighttime pedestrians are visible to motorists.

Lakewood is considered one of the most congested townships in New Jersey and the general region, and its roads are precarious for pedestrians even in daytime. Of major concern is pedestrian visibility particularly after sundown when many of its streets are dark. This hazard is especially acute in the winter months when the sun sets early and a large number of pedestrians – including many children – are still outdoors.

In 2022, more than 100 pedestrians were struck by vehicles, with over a dozen incidents occurring in the last month alone. To reverse this trend, the Rothenberg Law Firm, an industry leader in personal injury litigation, invited local officials and agencies to participate at a roundtable discussion of traffic and safety issues affecting the Lakewood community.

Those present at the meeting included Lakewood Mayor Ray Coles, Lakewood Police Chief Greg Meyer, Lakewood Police Sergeant Frank Work, Lakewood Police Detective Sergeant Jeannette Shimonivich, Lakewood Police Patrolman Alex Guzman, Lakewood Police Sergeant Ken Burdge, Lakewood Shomrim representatives, and attorneys from the Rothenberg Law Firm.

In addition to the various traffic and safety issues discussed at the roundtable, representatives of the Rothenberg Law Firm rolled out its Reflector Initiative, for which the firm will be donating thousands of personal reflectors to Lakewood residents free of charge, with the goal of achieving 100 per cent participation among pedestrians in the coming months.*

As part of the unprecedented safety push, all participating officials and agencies are committed to working collaboratively to get the reflective gear into the hands of all Lakewood residents. The free reflectors are now being made available to walk-ins at the Rothenberg Law Firm, 300 Boulevard of the Americas, Suite 100, Lakewood, and will be handed out to pedestrians by members of the Lakewood Police Department’s Traffic and Safety Unit, and Lakewood Shomrim. The reflectors will also be available for pickup at the Lakewood Municipal Building, 231 Third Street, Lakewood.

Lakewood Mayor Ray Coles said, “As the fourth-largest city in New Jersey, and with one of the youngest populations in the entire United States, Lakewood has unique challenges when it comes to keeping pedestrians safe. Through this initiative, the Rothenberg Law Firm has shown that when it comes to residents’ safety, they put their money where their mouth is.”

Lakewood Police Chief Greg Meyer said, “As the winter arrives, it is crucial that pedestrians wear reflective gear to ensure they are visible. On behalf of the Lakewood Police Department, I would like to thank the Rothenberg Law Firm for their generous and lifesaving donation to the community. These reflectors will literally save lives.”

Mr. Ross Rothenberg, a partner at the Rothenberg Law Firm, said, “As a personal injury law firm, we are deeply and personally aware of the hazards pedestrians face on poorly-lit roadways, and this is our way to proactively assist Lakewood residents stay safe and to give back to this beautiful community.”

Shomrim Coordinator Pinny Werner said, “Lakewood Shomrim members are confronted on a nightly basis with the reality that far too many Lakewood pedestrians are lacking personal reflectors, placing them at unnecessary risk of injury. We are grateful for this initiative and eagerly look forward to the day when wearing reflective gear is second nature to Lakewood pedestrians.”

“It is beyond tragic to hear of the countless preventable injuries that pedestrians suffer due to their not being visible to drivers,” said Mrs. Beth Rothenberg Halperin, a partner at the Rothenberg Law Firm. “The reflectors we are making available free of charge can quite literally be the difference between life and death.”

For more information, contact Yaakov Wenger, National Chaplains Association, at 732.719.2110 Ext. 4; Fax 732.719.2115 or email

*The Rothenberg Law Firm just ordered another 5000 reflectors to give out in order to reach all communities!


Christmas Train Show at the Lakewood Museum

Posted on November 22, 2022 By

The Ocean County Society of Model Railroaders, 500 Country Club Road, off County Line Road, Kuser Hall, Pine Park, Lakewood, is inviting the public to a Christmas Train Show at Sheldon Wolpin Historical Museum on Saturday, December 10 and Sunday, December 11 from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Enjoy seeing both modern and traditional trains, both passenger and freight, dual gauge, HO, S, O gauge trains. Thomas the Tank Engine will also be making an appearance. Admission is free but donations are always gladly accepted.

For more information, contact Ted Bertiger, president, at or visit

About The Ocean County Society of Model Railroaders: The Ocean County Society of Model Railroaders is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization, open Tuesdays and Fridays from 6:30 to 10:00 p.m. Starting December 1, the Club will be open every Wednesday from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m.


Dr. A. Gupta Was Honored by Monmouth Medical Center Southern Campus

Posted on November 14, 2022 By

Dr. Avinash Gupta, Toms River, a long-time Lakewood cardiologist, Chief of Cardiology and President-elect of the medical staff at Monmouth Medical Center Southern Campus (MMCSC), was honored recently for his public health work, free medical service, voluntary health care, and dedicated service to the poor at the annual Humanitarian Gala of MMCSC. Dr. Gupta has been serving his community with humanity for over four decades.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, as the president of MOCAAPI (Monmouth Ocean County American Association of Physicians from India), Dr. Gupta organized a team of more than 50 physicians, pharmacists, nurses, and non-clinical volunteers to join with Ocean County Health Department in the COVID testing and vaccination drive. Week after week, he and Dr. Geeta Gupta, his wife, led this volunteer team to administer thousands of shots to the community. Additionally, they started offering teleconsultation during the nights to help physicians and patients in India. They helped treat over a thousand patients during the pandemic in India.

As a result, NBC TV channel televised a segment “American Doctors helping COVID patients in India,” featuring Drs. Avinash and Geeta Gupta.

Dr. Gupta and his wife run PRAN-BJANA (Bihar Jharkhand Association of North America), a free medical mobile health clinic, in remote areas of India’s Jharkhand, which he visits several times a year to conduct medical camps in villages. He distributes free medicines, and arranges blood tests and X-rays for free to the indigent community. Along with his professional organization of BJANA, Dr. Gupta has coordinated with other doctors to arrange medicines and send oxygen concentrators to India. Most importantly, he was instrumental in getting a fund of over $250,000 for medical relief in India.

During his term as President last year, MOCAAPI donated $150,000 to FulFill, the food bank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties to help fight hunger in Ocean County. He also distributed blankets to the county’s homeless residents under AAPI’s Share a blanket program.

It was his leadership within the Hindu American community that saw the founding of Sidhivinayak Temple and Indian Cultural Center in Toms River in 2012, an organization for which he has personally donated hundreds of thousands of dollars and countless hours.

After graduating from medical school in India, Dr. Gupta came to the United States in 1986. He went on to complete his Internal Medicine residency and Cardiology fellowship in New York before he began to practice cardiology in Lakewood in 1994. After working for Lakewood Medical Specialists, he started his own practice with his wife Dr. Geeta Gupta, with Kimball Medical Center as his primary hospital. He is a fellow of the American College of Cardiology and is Board Certified in Internal Medicine, Cardiology, Nuclear Medicine, and Lipidology.

At MMCSC, he has served on the Executive Committee in various positions from member to treasurer and now president – elect.

Dr. Gupta is married to Dr. Geeta Gupta for more than 33 years. Together, they share an office in Lakewood, specializing in both Internal Medicine and Cardiology as well as offering all testing associated with Cardiology care, such as Echocardiograms, Carotid Ultrasound, Nuclear and Regular Exercise Stress Testing. Their son Abhinav Gupta is a surgical resident at RWJBH- Cooperman Barnabas Medical Center, Livingston, NJ.

Among his awards, Dr. Gupta received Pravasi Bhartiya Divas, 2020, leadership & Community Service, Consulate General of India, N.Y.; Proclamation, 2021, Lifesaving services during COVID pandemic, State of New Jersey; Extraordinary leadership, 2020, Service to Profession & Community, AAPI; Healthcare Heroes in serving Community during COVID pandemic, 2020, BJANA; Annual India Day parade, 2019, Federation of Indian Associations; Service to Homeland, 2019, BCCI, Patna; and 25 years of dedicated service, 10994-2019, RWJBarnabas Health.


Strand Theater Fundraiser

Posted on November 2, 2022 By

Because of the cancellation of several shows due to COVID at the Strand Theater, 400 Clifton Avenue, Lakewood, N.J., the Board of the Strand is holding a 50/50 fundraiser with the proceeds benefitting the theater.

Tickets cost $10.00 and the grand prize ticket holder will win 50 per cent of the total sales. The drawing will take place December 18, 2022 at 10:00 p.m. The winner does not have to be present.

To get raffle tickets or make a donation, visit or email for tickets or more information.

About the Strand Theater: The historic Strand Theater, a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit at 400 Clifton Ave., Lakewood, was designed by world-renowned theater architect Thomas Lamb in 1922 and is listed on the N.J. and National Register of Historic Places. The Strand offers year-round entertainment in plush, air-conditioned surroundings. It is a perfect venue to showcase comedians, musicals, dinner theater, stars from television and movies, and legendary musical entertainers. The reception gallery includes a catering facility for 80 people, a dance floor, and restrooms. It is ideal for theater-in-the-round, smaller events and receptions.


Rob Sickel to Donate Walkie-Talkies to Pt. Pleasant Borough Schools

Posted on November 1, 2022 By

After the Uvalde shooting in Texas, Sickel asked the Pt. Pleasant Borough School district if there was anything it needed after a recent school shooting to feel more prepared or safe. When they requested walkie-talkies, Sickel gladly provided funding for them.

The Point Pleasant Borough Board of Education recently voted unanimously to accept a donation of $8,649.76 from Robert Sickel, Brick, owner of Pine Belt Cars, Lakewood, to purchase and maintain walkie-talkies.

Adam Angelozzi, Ed.D., Superintendent of Schools for the Point Pleasant Borough School District, said, “Thank you for your continued commitment and generosity toward our district and its students. This donation will go a long way towards helping to ensure increased communication throughout our school day and during emergencies.”

Sickel, the Chairman of Monmouth Medical Center Southern Campus (MMCSC) Foundation, was recently honored at the MMCSC annual Humanitarian Gala for his ongoing volunteer work and dedicated service. Each year the foundation honors members of the hospital community whose philanthropy and leadership contributions have furthered the success of Monmouth Medical Center, Southern Campus (MMCSC).

Among others, Sickel’s awards include being named the 2022 TIME Dealer of the Year for the North East; Man of the Year, 2013, Pt. Pleasant Elks Honoree; 40 Under 40, Automotive News, 2016; MODC Community Service Award, 2017; Chevrolet Dealer of the Year 2000, ’02-’05, ’07, ’10, ’17, ’19; and his dealership was named Top Workplaces 2021,

About Pine Belt Cars: Pine Belt Cars, 1088 Route 88, Lakewood, NJ 08701, is a family-owned and operated New Jersey car dealer that offers new or pre-owned cars, trucks, and SUVs. Pine Belt Cars specializes in Chevy, Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram and Subaru cars. The dealership employs a professional team of service technicians with the skills and equipment to handle all manner of maintenance and repairs, and has a full stock of authentic parts.

Pine Belt Cars has four dealerships in Lakewood, N.J., and is very committed philanthropically to local communities. Some of Pine Belt’s philanthropic affiliations include sponsoring the Pine Belt Arena, Lakewood Little League, United Way of Ocean County, Lakewood Police Department, Jewish Federation, and the Monmouth-Ocean Development Council.

Pine Belt Cars was founded in 1937 by Leon Sickel. After graduating Franklin & Marshall and serving in the U.S. Naval Reserve, his son David Sickel joined the family business and became the dealer in 1975. When David retired in 2019, his son Robert Sickel became the current president and CEO of Pine Belt Cars, a third-generation dealer. Robert Sickel graduated from the University of Miami.

For more information call 888-3-PineBelt or 732-363-6244 or visit


Lakewood Chamber Sponsors Free Networking Event November 9

Posted on October 27, 2022 By

The Lakewood Chamber of Commerce is sponsoring a free evening networking event, November 9, from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. at the Town Appliance Rooftop, 10 South Clifton Avenue, Lakewood, N.J. Enjoy cocktails, soft drinks, and hors d’oeuvres. This event, open to Chamber members and non-Chamber members, is sponsored by N.J. Natural Gas and Town Appliance.

Indoor facilities are available in case of inclement weather. To register, email